Re: Time Banking
From: Craig Ragland (
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 09:05:35 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Joel,

It was great to see and talk with you at the Conference, and beyond...

Brian, who was the other Songaian that I referenced in the email I just
sent, were talking about the efforts that people go to creating systems that
seek to create accountability and equity. Brian and I talked about our
relationships with other at Songaia and how it might relate to some type of
accounting system to keep track of the contributions that the two of us

We actually found the idea pretty amusing - that it would be absurd to
systematize or "monetize" our relationship, reducing it to hours. For
example, Brian and I are both investors in one of our adjoining properties -
something I instigated, but he made possible through his support -
financial, but more importantly in its business model and through
facilitating some challenging relationships which were critical to resolve
for the project's success. I've helped fund some of his Songaia projects
over the years. He has provided considerable support for some of my
endeavors (including Coho/US, working through issues with my son, and the
property acquisition above). I attended a fundraising auction for the
private "school" that Brian's son attends and bought some stuff. I also
supported my wife as she made some substantial in-kind donations for several
of these auctions over the years.

Anyway, this is NOT to take anything away from the concept of time banking
or the use of similar systems, such as local currency, etc. These make a lot
of sense to me when applied to relationships with less depth, with fewer
interconnections. When talking with Brian about local currency, one of our
thoughts was that it might be useful for "foreign exchange" - what if
Songaia was to collaborate on accumulating time "dollars" that we could bank
for use when we need skills/labor from outside of our community?


On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 7:59 AM, Fred H Olson <fholson [at]> 

> Joel Bartlett <altaircohousing1 [at]>
> is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
> Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
> after replacing digest subject line and deleting quoted digest.
> --------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------
> When I was at the National Conference in Boulder, I asked if any Cohousing
> communities use Time Banking as a system.  I could not find any, and was
> surprised.
> The basic principle of Time Banking is that my hour is worth your hour.
>  There is no dollar value attached, and everyone is honored for what they
> can do, whether it is organization, physical labor, creativity,
> child-caring, you name it.  The system works because you trust the members
> of the Time Bank and know they have best intentions in mind.
> Our forming Cohousing group (with money down on a piece of land) is too
> small to get everything done right now -- marketing, website work,
> brochures, to name a few tasks.  But, we are members of a Time Bank.  If we
> need something done and cannot find someone in the group with the skills or
> will to do it, we put out a request to the larger community and receive
> help.  At the moment, since I earn so many hours helping the Time Bank, I
> donate hours to the Cohousing group to balance the account (not that
> balancing the account is that important).  As we grow, other Charter
> Members
> will join the Time Bank...
> I am imagining living in Cohousing with Time Banking in place.  Cohousers
> can earn Time Dollars by responding to requests in the larger Time Bank as
> well as within Cohousing, and spend them in either place as well. The work
> within the Cohousing community thus has a larger circle of people to help,
> and there is greater outreach and connection, in general, with neighbors.
>  Work days are Time Dollar days.  Participation in events and celebrations
> earn Time Dollars.  The Cohousing group could create their own Time Bank,
> and use the same software for members to put up personal pages, put out
> offers & requests, and so on, as our Time Bank.
> It seems to me Time Banking also solves the problem of new people coming
> into the Cohousing group. They can immediately start exchanging services,
> and, before long, they are part of the community!
> If you would like to visit our Time Bank site, go to
>  We are part of a national organization that supports us in many ways (
>  The last national convention was in Madison, the
> subject
> Social Justice, and one of the field trips was to visit Cohousing!
> Let me know what you think,
> Yours, Joel Bartlett of Altair Cohousing in the Philadelphia, PA area
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.